1631 GMT: No Afghans, Please. The National Organization for Educational Testing has issued a list of university courses banned for Afghans living in Iran, including atomic physics, nuclear engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, and military sciences.
Mehr explains that allowing Afghans to gain qualifications in these areas would create the obligation to employ them.
The news agency also writes that Afghans can apply only at universities that are not located in areas where they have been banned from living, including a dozen provinces and a number of cities throughout Iran.
Increased flow and vital port improvements have produced a 20 percent jump in exports this year to nearly 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, making Iraq one of the premier producers in OPEC for the first time in decades.
Energy analysts say that the Iraqi boom --- coupled with increased production in Saudi Arabia and the near total recovery of Libya’s oil industry --- should cushion oil markets from price spikes and give the international community additional leverage over Iran when new sanctions take effect in July.
“Iraq helps enormously,” said David L. Goldwyn, the former State Department coordinator for international energy affairs in the Obama administration. Even if Iraq increased its oil exports by only half of what it is projecting by next year, he said, “You would be replacing nearly half of the future Iranian supply potentially displaced by tighter sanctions.”
1035 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Syrian Front). Iran's Press TV has dutifully followed the lead of its Syrian counterpart with the "correct" story (see Syria and Beyond Live Coverage) of what happened in last week's mass killing of civilians in Houla:
A witness to the May 25 carnage in the western Syrian town of Houla says armed groups raped women before killing them, a recent report has revealed. “They (armed groups) burned houses and killed people by the families because they were loyal to the (Syrian) government. [They] raped the women and killed the children,” the witness said....
The witness was identified as “Al Khosam,” a Syrian security officer serving in Houla, the report said....
Another witness said the armed groups “used the women and children as human shields and continued firing” at Syrian forces, according to the report.
Some of the women were “shot in the head,” said a Syrian soldier who was injured during the clashes.
Standing against Israel --- Any attack by Israel on Iran will blow back on the Jewish state "like thunder".
But We Don't Have Nukes --- The international community's suspicion that Tehran seeks nuclear weapons is based on a "lie".
We're Winning --- The West is seeking "to divert minds and public opinion from the [economic] events that are happening in the U.S. and Europe....What Americans and Westerners do is idiotic. They magnify the nuclear issue to cover up their own problems. They are deceitfully using the term nuclear weapons."
Imam affirmed that we revolted and stood firm to claim the rights of nations and establish justice, and it was for this very cause that he took a stand against the Zionist regime that was obvious injustice and an insult to nations and humanity....
Imam was against the foundation of the Zionist regime and on this basis he established the Day of Quds and stood by the principle of defending the oppressed people of Palestine. Imam was the only person declaring that Zionist thought and domination (over Palestine) must be uprooted from the human community.
0600 GMT: Headlines from Iran today will be marked by the ceremonies for the 23rd anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini. The regime will be hoping for large, enthusiastic turnouts --- "Every year, millions of Iranians from across the country travel to Tehran to pay tribute to the late founder of the Islamic Republic" --- to testify to public support, even amidst the current economic difficulties.
The recent history of the event is notable for an episode of division, rather than unity. Two years ago, Seyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the Ayatollah, was heckled and forced to abandon his speech by supporters of President Ahmadinejad.
No such distractions today. The Supreme Leader has used his speech to project Iran's regional influence, "Imam Khomeini's Islamic movement is the Islamic world of today", and Seyed Hassan Khomeini is due to speak later.